Long long ago and far away, I used to go over to my dear friend Sudeshna's house for sleepovers.
Sunna's family was Bengali. Her relatives back in India used to send them crates of the world's most delicious mangoes....oh those were the days. Anyway, Sunna's mom didn't often cook for us sleepover girls, because I think she feared we wouldn't like the traditional dishes she usually made. She would, however, stock up the usual sleepover-required junk food, which was just fine by us.
Including Jalapeno Krunchers.
If you are not familiar with Krunchers! potato chips, then, well, frankly, I'm sorry for you. They might be the best potato chips ever made, or right up there with the best. St. Louis Bread Company used to give the regular flavor out with sandwiches and that's probably why BreadCo became successful enough to sell to the Au Bon Pain dude and go national as Panera.
Jalapeno Krunchers were ambrosia. Except for the fact that of all our highschool friends, I was the only non-Indian kid who could stand the spice. I'm not known for my tolerance of painfully hot foods, but Sunna and I could decimate a bag of those ridiculously delicious chips while our compatriots looked on in astonishment and focused on Cool Ranch Doritos.
One of the many reasons I so love my husband is his adoration of spicy foods, not least of which is a good jalapeno potato chip. He actually knows and loves Jalapeno Krunchers, despite their no longer being available on the East Coast. We have often reminisced over the amazing quality of the Kruncher spicy chip -- the flavor was baked in, rather than merely dusted onto the chip, and it was not overly salty. Oh, what a chip.
Ahem. Anyway, to fill the void, we have tried many brands of jalapeno and chipotle chips, but most were mediocre at best. (One was so spicy that I actually lost taste sensation in my tongue, and that was enough for me.)
Yesterday, though, Jim had to run an errand to the store, and he came home with some news.
"You know those Wise chips?" he asked.
"Yeah," I said.
"They have a new jalapeno chip," he said.
I looked at him. His eyes were shining.
I was skeptical. "Didn't we already try those?"
"No," he said. "That was their weird chipotle cheese chip. This is a kettle-baked jalapeno."
I pondered. It sounded good.
"Did you get some?"
But my curiosity was piqued, and when I was at the store today, I saw the chips. So I bought a bag.
Jim very commendably restrained himself until after dinner, but then he could wait no longer, and he poured out a small portion of the chips.
He ate one.
And again, his eyes shone.
"May I have one?" I asked. He nodded.
I popped it into my mouth. The crunch, the spice, the utter kettle-cooked perfection all came rushing back to me: This was a Jalapeno Krunchers chip.
I looked at him. He looked at me. Screw the fancy dinner I had made and we had just eaten. We devoured the chips.
When the crumbs had stopped flying, I Googled "jalapeno Krunchers." Guess who makes them?
You knew, didn't you? They are produced by Wise, Inc.
Heaven...I'm in heaven...